“Here I am, send me.” (Is 6:8)

When they brought their boats to the shore, [Peter, James, and John] left everything and followed him ~ Luke 5:11.

The word, vocation, comes from the Latin word vocare, which means “to call.” This means that a vocational call is always an invitation. God respects our freedom to say yes or no. Whether he calls us to the vocation of marriage, religious life, or priesthood, he always invites, he never coerces. If God is calling you to a vocation, he invites you to trust him, and to respond with a resounding “yes.”

God created each one of us for love and relationship. He desires to know and love each of us in a particular way. God also calls each and every one of us to be holy – to know, love, and serve Him in this world, so that we may be happy with Him eternally in heaven…

The vocation to the priesthood is a vocation of love that participates in the mission of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who came to seek the lost and bring them back to the Father. Priests devote their lives to this mission; the salvation of souls. They imitate Christ’s search for humanity by looking for the lost sheep in our world and teaching others about the God who loves them, proclaiming, “Jesus Christ loves you; he gave his life to save you; and now he is living at your side every day to enlighten, strengthen and free you” (EG, 164).


Exploring Priesthood Discernment Group

Exploring priesthood discernment group is an opportunity for prayer and reflection sponsored by the diocesan Office of Priestly Vocations. Each month, young men (ages 16 – 35) are invited to gather and discern God’s will for their lives. 

Time for prayer and reflection will be held monthly at St. Stephen Parish in East Grand Rapids beginning at 12:30 p.m.

This year’s discernment opportunities are offered on the following Sundays: Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14, Dec. 12, Jan. 9 (2022), Feb. 13, March 13, Apr. 24 (Divine Mercy Sunday), and May 15.

Questions, email Fr. Stephen Durkee.


From the moment of Jesus’ conception in the womb of Mary until his Resurrection, he was filled with the Holy Spirit.  In biblical language, he was anointed by the Holy Spirit and thus established by God the Father as our high priest. As Risen Lord, he remains our high priest. . . . While all the baptized share in Christ’s priesthood, the ministerial priesthood shares this through the Sacrament of Holy Orders in a special way. 

Ordination to the priesthood is always a call and a gift from God. Christ reminded his Apostles that they needed to ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into the harvest.  Those who seek priesthood respond generously to God’s call using the words of the prophet, “Here I am, send me” (Is 6:8).  This call from God can be recognized and understood from the daily signs that disclose his will to those in charge of discerning the vocation of the candidate.


Do you have questions or wish to learn more about life as a consecrated religious? Here, you will find links to information about and contact information for religious congregations of women and men serving in the Diocese of Grand Rapids, along with information about what consecrated religious life is. If you have general questions about a vocation to religious life, please contact the Office of Priestly Vocations and Continuing Formation of Clergy.